Emily & Jesse
- Embryo Freezing
- Frozen embryo transfer (FET)
- Genetic Testing
- In vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Robert Kiltz, MD
- David Corley, MD
Emily & Jesse's Story:
Before this jounrey we never imagined that infertility could stand in the way of starting a family.
Jesse and I were married in October 2017 and knew we wanted to start a family right away. We began trying by tracking ovulation but were disappointed each month with negative pregnancy tests. My cycles were pretty normal, maybe a little longer here and there, but nothing that stood out to me as super concerning.
We did not understand what was making things so difficult. By Spring 2019, after a year and a half, I mentioned to my local NP that we were really struggling. We talked about Ovulation Induction and started with blood work, an ultrasound, HSG and semen analysis. Everything came back normal, which made things even more frustrating as to why we weren't getting pregnant.
In Fall of 2019, we started our first round of Ovulation Induction. We did a round of Clomid, a trigger shot, and timed intercourse with no luck. My second cycle, I asked to switch to Letrazole (I had a close friend who took one round of Letrazole and got pregnant on the first try). My body was pretty unresponsive to the Letrazole, my follicles barely grew.
It was suggested we do IUI with this round but we decided against it knowing our chances of success were pretty low. In round three, I switched back to Clomid at a higher dose than our first round. Surprisingly, I didn't really respond, and we "piggybacked" the Clomid at a higher dose. My follicles grew a little bit but still not great.
We did the trigger shot anyway and agreed to an IUI this time. My husband and I were pretty hopeful that this would be our shot. However, we were disappointed by yet another negative pregnancy test. We jumped right into my next cycle with another round of Clomid and increased the dose again. Unfortunately, my body continued not to respond and we ended up piggybacking at a higher dose again.
New Year’s Eve, the end of my two-week wait, I tested, thinking how amazing it would be to start off 2020 with a positive pregnancy test. But we were devastated when my test was negative.
After 4 back-to-back unsuccessful cycles, my husband and I decided we needed a break. Infertility really weighed on me, I felt less like myself than I ever had, and knowing that all my testing was "normal" made things even more frustrating and difficult to understand. We planned on giving ourselves a chance to relax, and we would start things back up in the spring.
Our break actually came at a good time. My husband ended up having a terrible work accident in January of 2020 and I was dedicated to helping him get back on track. Then COVID hit in March, and our plans to take the next step in our fertility treatments were pushed back even further.
In the Fall, I was finally able to see another NP in my local office, who I spoke with about Superovulation. The appointment was overwhelming. After hearing the side effects of the injection I was going to be prescribed, I started second guessing if this was the right choice for us, but we were willing to do whatever we could to be able to start our family.
We came to the decision that with the possible side effects and cost of this injection, we needed to give ourselves the best chance possible at a successful pregnancy. After tons of research, my husband and I found CNY Fertility.
I took my infertility into my own hands and we started doing everything we could that would help us in building a family. I started the KETO diet. My husband and I started taking the supplements that were recommended on the CNY website, and I did something I never thought I would do, acupuncture (which I ended up loving!).
Our consult was a few months away so it gave us some time to get ahead of the game. In March 2021, I had our phone consult with a CNY NP. She was super informative and I was told that my AMH was pretty high, giving me the diagnosis of PCOS.
We decided on jumping right into IVF since our previous treatments were so unsuccessful and I didn't want to do something that I already knew hadn't worked. Because my initial testing was pretty recent, I was able to start with my next cycle. We were so excited and so hopeful, I never felt like I was closer to being pregnant than at that time.
My next cycle came and we traveled to Syracuse to start baseline bloodwork and ultrasound. Everything looked great and I started stimming the next day. My husband and I were so fortunate to live close to CNY in Syracuse (only about an hour and a half), we decided to do all of my monitoring in Syracuse.
We went every couple days for blood work and ultrasounds and I had my first egg retrieval May 1, 2021. I had 26 eggs removed, which is crazy to me, but I felt like everything was finally looking up for the first time in a long time. Unfortunately, only one embryo survived. We were confused yet hopeful. We felt there was a reason we had one embryo like this was definitely going to work!
A few days before transfer, I did an HCG wash. My blood work and lining looked great and ready for transfer. We transferred our little embryo on May 31, 2021 with Dr. Corley. Dr. Corley was so great, he was calm, and made me feel so relaxed and hopeful. He prayed over us once our embryo was transferred, it was just so kind and special, and truly a moment I’ll never forget. Sadly, our little embryo did not stick and we were devastated. I felt like we had done everything we could and felt very defeated. We were back to the beginning again.
But we weren’t giving up. I scheduled a follow-up appointment and decided to repeat an HSG with Dr. Kiltz just to see if anything had changed from my first one. It was unremarkable, which was good news. He talked with me about continuing Keto, changing up my medications for our next round of IVF, and suggested I take the next cycle to prime. I was so grateful to be able to get his recommendations. I started priming with HGH, estrogen and progesterone right away.
In August 2021 we were ready to start our next round of IVF. I started stimming with a new regimen and I was so excited. We were actually vacationing in the Finger Lakes at the time of stimming, so we traveled to Syracuse for all of our monitoring again. Everything had been going as planned and I was scheduled for my second retrieval. I had 32 eggs retrieved this time!
After a few days I found out that we had 11 frozen embryos! We couldn’t believe how well everything went this time, we were so grateful and just had a feeling that this was finally our chance. I couldn’t wait for my next cycle to start. We transferred our best-graded embryo on September 13, 2022. I was lucky enough to have Dr. Corley perform our transfer again. He prayed over us again and it was just as special as the first time.
The wait for my beta was the hardest. I’m pretty superstitious so I would not allow myself to take a home pregnancy test before my beta. On September 22, 2022 the CNY nurse called with my results and I was PREGNANT!
I was so excited and shocked, I honestly don’t remember much of the phone call. I took my first-ever positive pregnancy test as soon as I got off the phone with her. The word “pregnant” came up on the screen, and I cried so many tears of happiness.
I wrapped it up as a gift for my husband, went out and bought a baby outfit and book, and surprised him when he got home, something I had waited so long to be able to do! We kept the gender of baby and the names we had picked out a surprise until the arrival. Our miracle baby boy, Emmett, arrived June 5th, 2022 and is now a happy and healthy 7 month old!
Photo credit: The talented Connor Lange
Favorite Team Member at CNY:
Dr. Corley- Transferring an embryo is a pretty spectacular experience in itself. Dr. Corley made such a special time so personable, I truly will never forget how he made us feel when he prayed with us during both of our transfers.
Dr. Kiltz- The first time I met Dr. Kiltz was in the office. I was talking about him to the nurse and she said "would you like to meet him? I can go get him!" He came right into the exam room and talked to my husband and I. He told us to remain faithful, which I loved. I asked to take a picture with him (I know, I was THAT person) and that picture is now in our baby's nursery. He totally did not have to take the time out of his day to come meet us, and I really appreciated him doing that. Just a special/funny moment.
Megan RN-Megan is a nurse at the Syracuse clinic. I saw her just about every single time we went there, whether for monitoring or ultrasounds. We had a little scare when I was 6 weeks and I had a sub chorionic hemorrhage bleed out. I was scared out of my mind and when we got to the office and Megan was my nurse I immediately knew I was in good hands. She is so kind and knowledgeable, I loved the continuity of care.
Helpful resources Emily & Jesse found:
Personally, support was EVERYTHING. I was not super open about my infertility, let alone that my husband and I were going through IVF. Very, very, few people knew. However, the people that did know were always there for us.
My husband really let me take the reins on everything and supported and trusted my decision making in growing our family.
He ate any meal I made following the KETO diet, no matter how weird it might've been. My best friend followed the KETO diet with me and we exercised daily, keeping each other accountable. She helped and supported us in more ways than I could ever explain.
And then there were our parents and a couple close friends that just checked in and offered support. Our friends and family helped where they could and I am incredibly thankful to them, but it was my acupuncturist that I really found the most helpful.
My acupuncturist had also been through IVF, so having a person who knew exactly how I was feeling and what we were going through was everything to me. I always called her my therapist because I would tell her everything we were doing, our protocols, how I was feeling, and vent, leaving nothing out. Having someone who could completely relate to my infertility was truly what helped me the most in coping with infertility. I share our story now in hopes of it touching even just one person. I want to be that relatable person to someone who may be struggling.
I will never forget the moment I first held our baby boy. I labored close to 24 hours and ended up having an emergency c-section when baby was no longer tolerating labor. I remember laying on the operating table and hearing my OB say "It's a boy!” as she held him up over the drape.
It still brings tears to my eyes. Hearing him cry was the most amazing sound, I instantly started crying. In that moment, every ounce of pain I had felt over four long years was instantly gone.
I couldn't believe after all this time, our baby was here! I was so incredibly proud of us and myself, we couldn't wait to announce to our family and friends his arrival. I wouldn’t change our story for the world, and would do it ten times over again.
Hope, Inspiration and Advice:
Honestly, I wish I found CNY sooner.
I do not regret any fertility treatments we did at my local OB-GYN office, however, knowing what I know now, I would've gone to CNY from the get-go.
Celebrate every victory, no matter how small. Don't give up hope, no matter how hard it is to keep going. I sincerely promise every medication, injection, lab draw, ultrasound, procedure, negative test, and mental breakdown, is worth it when you hear that little heartbeat for the first time. It is all so worth it.